Live Christ

live christTo live Christ, I had to let go of so many things.  The things I briefly discuss today exemplify why I call this “Losing My Religion, Finding My Savior”  I hope you have time and willingness to hear the words. Regarding Joy, Part 4 it is full of truth and convicted me in so many ways.

Live Christ

Paul says “to live is Christ, to die is gain.”  He believes that it is literally better to die, than to live.  It’s not figurative. Yet, he states:

But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, Philippians 1: 24-25

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my frustrations stemmed from the fact that I did not share Paul’s view.

Gospel Community

Paul relied upon their prayers, concern and care to bring encouragement.

Yes, and I will rejoice,  for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. Philippians 1:18-19

I was afraid to share my fears, my frustration, my disappointment, because I didn’t want to appear faith-less.

I will also be as bold to say, that I was surrounded by beautiful, intelligent, successful people.  Sharing my frustrations meant admitting I didn’t measure up.  There was a great deal of pressure, and I don’t believe any of it is intentional.

The culture of the “American Dream” is full of values in opposition to the Gospel, but it has pervaded the American church. Somehow, we have determined hard work, resourcefulness, freedom to be gospel, when they are not.

Since I didn’t measure up to the values of the American church, I couldn’t really be vulnerable and dependent upon my church family.

By the Holy Spirit

Everything is possible by the Holy Spirit, meaning none of this is possible on our own.  It is super-natural.  The Holy Spirit is God at work in our lives, on this earth.  He brings us to repentance, salvation, holiness, brings comfort, courage, wisdom and instruction.  Not in our own cleverness or determination.

For a short period of time, I worked at my old church. I was in a meeting about 15 years ago, and my dearly loved pastor said “we are implementing this program to make sure that 70 years from now {this church} is still here, sharing the same values.”

I thought it made great sense, nothing checked in my spirit that there was something critically wrong with that statement.  The program, vision, mission that they set forth is eloquent and technically accurate.  At the end of it it says, “by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Again, every word of that statement is good, biblical, true.  The spirit behind it is the belief that the things we do allow the spirit to work. It’s not lighting candles, making sacrifices or praying rosaries, but how is that not religion? I thought my good choices, reading God’s word, serving in ministry, loving others sanctified me. I had it backwards.

Guilty, guilty, guilty!

I can’t find the gif I want for this post….the teacher from The Incredibles shouting that Dash is guilty of putting a tack on his seat.  My daughter cracks up every time.

All of these things, the Holy Spirit convicted me of, comforted me in my sorrow over this “me centered” view of God, and teaches me how to live Christ.  So, as you read this, remember that I know deeply that I am full of sin and the only goodness in me is Christ.

 

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